Back in the late 80's, there was an anti-drug PSA that ended with a teenage son saying to his dad, "I learned it from watching you", in response to who taught him about drugs. Even though I was only nine years old when that campaign debuted, the saying has continued to resonate with me as a parent.
My four kids, they are always watching. My every move, and every word out of my mouth. Their eyes are always watching (I swear they don’t ever sleep), and their ears are always listening. They watch how I treat those around me, and they watch how I take care of myself.
And during the summertime months, when we are with each other 24/7 because school’s out, it's a golden opportunity to influence them. While I often feel overwhelmed, I totally love having full reign over our day and our schedule, allowing me a ton of time to show them healthy habits that will hopefully run over into our busy fall schedule.
I've developed a bit of a parenting mantra as of recently: Healthy Mind. Healthy Body.
Healthy Mind: We read books, we creatively play, and we understand that there is so much we can learn from each other just by spending quite time together. This goes for me and the kids alike. Additionally, since I work from home, they get to see me in my element, and hopefully I'm instilling a strong worth ethic in them.
Healthy Body: This is probably my favorite. This summer we've really been able to dive into being active as a family, even though I have baby Paul to care for. We ride bikes in the evening, we go to the YMCA in the morning, and my oldest and I (age 7) are even training for her first ever 5K, which she'll run at the end of August.
But healthy body goes far beyond physically activity for us. The summer has also been a fantastic time to set an example of what we also put into our body, and how that fuels us both mentally and physically. And oftentimes, the way I care for baby Paul becomes a fantastic learning tool. They see me nurse him all throughout the day, and just recently we’ve started making purees together to feed Paul, with produce we've picked out together at our local farmers market.
Being a mom to four little kids is hard, but it's very rewarding as well. I'm doing my best to cultivate them into little people that understand the value of a healthy mind, and healthy body. And at the end of the day, it basically all starts with how I treat myself. Remembering, that their ears, eyes, and often times mouths, are always open (and pointed in my direction).